What every artist needs to do to start a successful business

If you’re an artist, it’s pretty common to take on the second title of entrepreneur or small business owner. However, for many, this can be the most unattractive part of embarking on any creative career path. To help eliminate some of the stress that accompanies starting a business, we have identified a few steps to help get you started.

1. Establish your brand.
When starting your business journey, we recommend taking the time to think through your niche, brand identity and your target audience. Identify what you will be selling and what your specialty will be. You may be a talented artist across several mediums, but when it comes to establishing a business, it can be beneficial to have a more narrow approach. To get further tips on establishing your brand, check out our blog – How to establish your own brand as an artist.

2. Write a business plan.
Once you have a clearer picture of your brand identity, it’s time to start mapping out the future of your business, starting with your overall vision and goals. Take the time to think through where you want your business to be in one year or five years. Write all your ideas out and consider your finances in this step, including product or service pricing. For a step-by-step guide to creating a business plan, please visit the U.S. Small Business Administration.

3. Complete the appropriate paperwork.
When you have decided to start your own business, it’s imperative to ensure you are set up for success legally, including registering your business, gaining appropriate federal and state tax IDs, and applying for licenses or permits. Pending on your business structure, you may not have to complete all of these tasks, but to confirm your next steps – please follow this guide by SBA.

4. Market your business.
As a subset of your business plan, it’s important to think through how you want to market your business to bring in sales and customers. In today’s world, ensuring you have an online presence is one way to gain more traction, which includes creating a website and social media channels. Along with these online routes, it can also be beneficial to think outside of the box and look into other promotional avenues. One way is by having business cards on hand at all times and always introducing yourself as an artist in social settings. For more tips on how to sell your art, visit CO.

5. Find a mentor or join a business group.
As a business owner, it can sometimes feel like you are on a solo journey. Therefore, we recommend finding a mentor or group, where you can find support and advice from other small business owners. RMCAD is a great place to start looking for these connections, whether it’s through one of our clubs and organizations or classes.

Your journey may just be starting, but we are confident you have the framework needed to start a successful business! To keep up with more artist tips or small business tricks, follow along on the RMCAD blog.